Canadian women get equal pay offer but tell government hearing they don’t trust federation

March 13 – Canada’s women players have told a government hearing they don’t trust the sport’s governing body to negotiate a fair labour agreement after Canada Soccer went public with proposals for equal pay and division of prize money.

“It is time to get a deal done,” Canada Soccer general secretary Earl Cochrane had stated when outlining proposals the federation insisted were made to the women’s and men’s national teams last June. “We’ve been negotiating in good faith and want to get to a resolution with our national teams.

“In order to get there, we need both of our national teams to agree. Our women deserve to be paid equally and they deserve the financial certainty going into the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

Canada’s women, the reigning Olympic champions, have demanded equal pay, following the lead of their American counterparts.

“As a team, we do not trust Canada Soccer to be open and honest as we continue to negotiate for not only fair and equitable compensation and treatment, but for the future of our program,” Canada captain Christine Sinclair (pictured) said during last week’s testimony whilst Janine Beckie, another of four players at the hearing, said the team felt “quite disrespected” by Canada Soccer’s announcement.

The dispute between both national teams and Canada Soccer stretches back to last June when the men’s team – at the time preparing for its first World Cup appearance in 36 years – boycotted a match against Panama in Vancouver.

The women’s team threatened last month not to play in the SheBelieves Cup but relented after Canada Soccer threatened legal action. They took the field wearing purple shirts with the message ‘enough is enough’ ahead of their opening match at the annual round-robin tournament.

Subsequent to that, Charmaine Crooks was appointed interim president of Canada Soccer in the wake of Nick Bontis’ resignation .

During last week’s testimony, Sinclair recalled interaction with Bontis during contract negotiations last year.

“I was tasked with outlining our compensation, asked on behalf of the women’s national team. The president of Canada Soccer listened to what I had to say. And then later in the meeting referred back to it as, quote, ‘What was it Christine was bitching about?’ To me this spoke volumes about the lack of respect Canada Soccer has for its women’s national team.”

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